Low-cost LTCC-based sensors for low force ranges
We have designed and fabricated a low-range (ca. 100 mN) thick-film piezoresistive force sensor with a cantilever beam fabricated in LTCC (Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic). The beam was soldered onto a standard thick-film 25.4 x 12.7 mm signal conditioning base . Switching from a classical Al2O3-based thick-film beam to LTCC allows design of a 3D structured beam with increased sensitivity of the piezoresistive bridge, yet largely conserved strength and stiffness. Another advantage of LTCC compared to alumina is a lower Young’s modulus (approx. 3 times lower), more suitable for the measurement of small loads.